The city is in the throes of a garbage crisis. There is no end in sight even though Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has proposed to set up waste processing plants in each of the 28 Assembly constituencies in the city.

The civic body’s plans have now received a shot in the arm with the Union government announcing in the Budget 2013-14 that a scheme would be evolved to encourage cities and municipalities to take up waste-to-energy projects on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model. The Centre has proposed to support the municipalities that will implement these projects through different instruments such as viability gap funding, repayable grant and low cost capital.

Scepticism

While the industry has welcomed this move, there is some scepticism as the waste-to-energy projects have not worked in the country.

Kalpana Kar, solid waste management expert, pointed out that the earlier projects (waste-to-energy) taken up in the country had failed. “The main reason for this is that a large component of the waste generated by Indian homes is wet waste. This is unlike in the West where the dry waste component is more. The higher percentage of wet waste in our garbage brings down the calorific value.”

She explained that most waste-to-energy projects used the incineration method.

“Unless waste segregation at source is practised, such projects will not be successful,” she added.

Some are hopeful. M. Lakshminarayan, president of Bangalore Chamber of Industry and Commerce, said: “The Finance Minister’s announcement on specific allocation of fund to convert garbage to energy is a welcome measure and it is a step in the right direction.”

BBMP Commissioner Siddaiah welcomed the move. He said that such proposals would benefit corporations that are trying to set up waste management projects to process the thousands tonnes of garbage generated every day.

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